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Dark Sky Guides | Alberta, Canada

Outdoor Adventures, Guide or Outfitter

Dark Sky Guides offers guided interpretive nighttime tours and stargazing opportunities in Waterton Lakes National Park, by providing tour participants with the chance to stargaze using quality telescopes, binoculars, and other stargazing equipment. The Dark Sky Guides are storytellers that deliver personable, memorable, interpretive tours that focus on showcasing the night sky, the moon and neighboring planets, deep sky objects like distant nebulae and star clusters, the Milky Way Galaxy, constellations, and even Aurora Borealis and nocturnal creatures. Ultimately, Dark Sky Guides encourage people to foster their own personal connection with both the night sky and Waterton Lakes National Park. The company is committed to promoting WLNP as a noteworthy dark sky area, and to create awareness of the area’s official status as the World’s first transnational International Dark Sky Park.

The ever-popular Night Sky Discovery Tour focuses on discovering the night sky, spending time stargazing, and having the opportunity to peer through various telescopes! – Photo courtesy Travel Alberta / John Price

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Dark Sky Guides (DSG) was founded in December 2017 by the 4 Robinson brothers: Keith, Kevin, Kristopher and Michael. They were lucky to grow up in Waterton Lakes National Park, and over the years they’ve explored all areas of the National Park, both in daylight and after dark. As third-generation tourism service providers (they are all part of the family that owns and operates Waterton Shoreline Cruise Co), sharing Waterton Park’s rich human- and natural history has always been a part of their lives. Each brother pursued a University degree relating to business or tourism/hospitality.

As a brand new company, the Robinson brothers have designed the company’s operations and internal policies with sustainability in mind. Tours limit pressure on the natural environment by only providing small, personalized tours. Tours are normally offered by two guides and cater to a maximum of 12 tour participants at one time. This way, guides are able to deliver a truly personal experience for tour participants, while at the same time limiting the human footprint on the areas utilized.

The 2019 season proved to be even more exciting that year one. Demand for tours continued to increase and DSG continued to perfect its tour offering. This second year of operations was filled with memorable stargazing experiences. Tour participants were treated Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) sightings numerous times toward the end of the summer season, and a number of wildlife sightings were had over the course of the year (including Elk, Moose, Badger and even a mother Mountain Lion and 2 cubs!). The 2019 season came to a near-perfect conclusion when DSG was again named a finalist for the Travel Alberta Industry Conference ALTO Tourism Awards’ “New Tourism Experience”. However, unlike the previous year, this year DSG was named the Winner of the New Tourism Experience ALTO Award!

With 2020 the Dark Sky Guides have been perfecting their award-winning Dark Sky Adventure Tours and Night Sky Discovery Tours. But more importantly, the Dark Sky Guides are excited to introduce a couple of brand new service offerings: the shoulder- season Starry Skies Townsite Stroll tour, as well as opening of the brand new Waterton Planetarium!

As owners/operators of a new tourism business in Waterton Lakes National Park, the Robinson brothers are inspired by the personal interactions they have with tour participants and travelers visiting WLNP. The Robinson brothers realize that they are ambassadors and stewards of WLNP. And each has taken it upon himself to utilize his position as an authentic, trusted, local, interpretive guide to educate visitors about the area’s natural history, human history, and cultural significance. DSG hopes to encourage every individual tour participant to find their own personal way to connect with WLNP, and ultimately foster and develop that personal connection. The Robinson brothers try to challenge peoples’ way of thinking; to encourage them to appreciate the natural environment, and at the end of the day, take this newfound knowledge home with them, to try and effect change when they go home by then educating their own friends and families.

Custom Tours with the Dark Sky Guides
Difficulty Rating: Whatever You Want

Twilight Wildlife Walk
Difficulty Rating: Easy

Starry Skies Townsite Stroll
Difficulty Rating: Easy

Night Sky Discovery Tour
Difficulty Rating: Easy

Dark Sky Adventure Tour
Difficulty Rating: Moderately Difficult